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Spring clean your car with the help of these shampoos

Spring has sprung – so now’s the best time to banish the build-up of winter grime coating your pride and joy. This is particularly important if you own a second-hand car as, depending on its age, it might not have the same level of rust protection as a brand-new motor. By allowing the filth to fester, you’re creating the ideal conditions for corrosion to take hold.

A good car shampoo creates a thick foam that lifts the muck away from your car’s body as you wash it, trapping it in the lather and making its easy to rinse away. It also lubricates the surface of your car, helping to prevent you from scrubbing the dirt into your paint and creating those hideous swirl marks that need to be polished out with a cutting compound.

Below, we’ve rounded up the best car shampoos on sale today. We’ve deliberately excluded the high-end products used by professional car detailers, focusing instead on the best options for home cleaning. Every product on this list is affordable – and they all promise to provide a far better finish than an automatic car wash or an unregulated hand-wash service.

To get the best results from these car shampoos, we recommend buying a good microfibre wash mitt and two buckets. Put your clean solution of car shampoo and water in one bucket and fill the other one up with warm water. Use the second bucket to clean your wash mitt after each pass over the bodywork. That way, you won’t scrub any dirt you pick up with the mitt back into your paint.

Some of the car washes below even offer extra layers of protection, such as a light wax or a built-in ceramic coating. Scroll down for our list of the best car shampoos on sale now.

Gtechniq GWash – RRP £13.99

Gtechniq’s car shampoo is one of the best options out there. It doesn’t offer any added waxes or ceramic protection, but it makes up for that with its excellent detergent, good lather and pleasant cherry scent. It’s affordable and great at shifting dirt. What more do you need?

Autoglym UHD Shampoo – RRP £16.95

Autoglym is synonymous with car cleaning. The company has been around for decades and is still churning out excellent products like its UHD shampoo. It’s a little more expensive than the Gtechniq shampoo, but its suds are even thicker and it gives your paintwork a great shine.

Autobead Ceramic Shampoo – RRP £17.95

Ceramic car shampoos are a relatively recent development. They add some extra protection to your paint and help prevent minor scratches. Autobead’s shampoo is slick to use and affordable, but we wouldn’t recommend going for it if your car doesn’t already have a ceramic coating. The level of protection you get from this shampoo alone is marginal. It’s best used as a top-up treatment.

Autobrite Direct Decon Shampoo – RRP £10

If you’ve just bought a filthy used car that needs a serious cleaning, buy a bottle of Autobrite’s Direct Decon Shampoo. It’s very tough on dirt, cutting through filth like an axe through yoghurt – but it’s also completely biodegradable which means it’s kind to the planet, too. Because it’s so potent, though, it isn’t worth using on cars with regular wash cycles.

Soft99 Creamy pH Neutral Shampoo – RRP £13.99

This unusual Japanese shampoo is perfect for cleaning cars during the summer months, as it can be rinsed away without leaving any residue. Its cleaning ability can’t quite match the other options on this list, but it compensates for that with a dense foam that prevents you from scoring your paint with the road grime you’re trying to remove.